It’s rare that Apple products can out and out kill you. But if you’ve got a pacemaker, and an iPad Smart Cover, there is potentially a chance for some very, very bad news.
The problem lies not with chemicals or sharp edges, but with the magnets the cover uses, as explained by fourteen-year-old Gianna Chen:
Defibrillators, as a safety precaution, are designed to be turned off by magnets. The iPad2 uses 30 magnets to hold the iPad2’s cover in place, Chien said. While the iPad2 magnets aren’t powerful enough to cause problems when a person is holding the tablet out in front of the chest, it can be risky to rest it against the body, she found.
This is a problem because some pacemakers need to be manually reactivated and paramedics might not be aware of the problem. This isn’t just a cute little story about a smart girl, either: Chen’s work is being taken very, very seriously by paramedics and medical professionals because as iPads become more common, this might also become more common.
Unless, of course, Apple fixes the magnets. They’ve had yet to weigh in on the study, and are likely doing work of their own to confirm it, but one assumes they’ll be fixing the problem quickly. “My iPad Killed My Grandma” is probably not a headline Apple wants.